Railway budget 2014-15

INFRASTRUCTURE,  MODERNISATION

* To up speed of some trains to 160-200 km/hour
* Diamond quadrilateral to have high-speed rail connectivity
* Need 9 trln rupees for Diamond Quadrilateral project
* Aim to up staff benefit fund to 800 rupees/capita vs 500 now
* Mull Railway University of tech, non-tech nature
* To start Interactive Voice Response for food quality feedback
* To offer air-conditioning in loco cabins
* Aim to enable buying of platform, unreserved tickets online
* E-ticketing system to accommodate 120,000 users at a time
* To up e-ticketing capacity to 7,200 ticket/minute vs 2,000 now
* Plan to take up eco, education tourism, in Northeast states
* To explore building boundary wall around tracks via PPP
* Facility for buying platform, unreserved tickets via Internet
* Aim to recruit 4,000 Railway Police Force constables
* Ladies coaches to be escorted by women rail police force
* Bio-toilets to be increased in trains
* Have 11,563 unmanned level crossings; aim to eliminate them
* To allot 17.8 bln rupee to eliminate unmanned level crossing
* Ultrasonic systems to be used to detect rail fractures
* Corpus funds for upkeep of stations mooted
* Coin-operated ticket vending machine to be experimented
* People can book seat, berth, coach via online booking
* To have RO drinking water units at stations, in trains
* To extend onboard housekeeping services to all major trains
* To use CCTV to monitor cleanliness at stations
* To outsource cleaning activities at 50 stations
* To set up a separate division for housekeeping
* To have food courts at major stations
* Propose to provide workstation for business passengers
* To introduce branded, pre-cooked ready-to-eat meals on train
* To involve individuals, corporates for passenger amenities
* Rail retirement room to be extended to all stations
* To have battery operated cars at major station platforms
* Plan to prioritise, set timeline for ongoing projects
* To focus on aggressive indigenisation of imported pdts
* Internal sources insufficient to meet expenses
* New projects will do injustice to struggling railways
* Automatic door closing technology in mainline, suburban train
* Examining all unmanned level crossings in detail
* 400 bln rupees needed for track renewals
* Indian Railways needs immediate course correction
* Unveiling new projects injustice to a struggling organisation
* Spent 184 bln rupees on doubling 5,050-km tracks in 10 years
* Four 30-year-old projects not yet completed
* Spent 410 bln rupees on 3,700-km new lines in 10 years
* More projects we have thinner we spread our resources

Railway Budget 2014 - 15

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NEW TRAINS

* Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train proposed
* Allocates 1 bln rupees for Diamond Quadilateral
* Special train to throw light on life of Swami Vivekananda
* To have special package trains for some tourist circuits
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FY15

* Target FY15 passenger traffic revenue of 446.5 bln rupees
* FY15 plan outlay seen 476.5 bln rupees
* FY15 total expenditure pegged 1.49 trln rupees
* FY15 pension provision seen at 288.5 bln rupees
* To scale down FY15 IRFC mkt borrowing to 117.9 bln rupee
* FY15 ordinary working expenses 1.13 trln rupees
* FY15 freight earning pegged 1.06 trln rupees
* Aim freight traffic growth of 4.9% in FY15
* See 4.9% growth in freight traffic FY15
* Aim freight earnings of 1.06 trln rupees in FY15
* FY15 total receipts pegged 1.64 trln rupees
* FY15 estimate surplus 6.02 bln rupees
* FY15 budget allocation for cleanliness up 40% on year
* Maximum plan outlay for projects to be completed in FY15
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FY14

* FY14 passenger earnings down by 9.68 bln rupees
* FY14 gross traffic receipts up 12.8% at 1.39 trln rupees
* FY14 working expenses 975.71 bln rupees
* FY14 surplus 37.83 bln rupees
* FY14 internal resource generation short by 27.9 bln rupees
* FY14 freight earning short by 9.4 bln rupee vs revised aim
* FY14 operating ratio at 94%
* FY14 gross traffic receipt 1.39 trln rupees
* Gross traffic receipts short of revised aim by 9.42 bln rupee
* FY14 passenger earning short by 9.7 bln rupee vs revised aim
* Bore 23 paise/passenger per km loss in FY14
* Unrealistic to depend only on fare hike to meet fund needs
* Fare revision decision was tough, but necessary
* Fare hikes will bring additional 80 bln rupees to Railways
* Need to explore alternate sources of resource mobilisation
* Only depend on fare hikes for mobilising funds
* Mismanagement, apathy led railways to cash-starved status
* Spent 94 paise for every 1 rupee in FY14
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REVENUES AND EXPENSES

* Rail revenue to be linked to fuel prices
* Revenue foregone on suburban fare hike rollback 6.1 bln rupee
* To take corrective steps to combat fund crunch
* Require 1.82 trln rupees to complete 359 projects
* Need 5 trln rupees/year for next 10 yrs for ongoing projects
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FINANCING, INVESTMENT

* Even high-speed train projects need PPP financing
* Seeking nod to allow FDI in railways
* Bulk of new projects to be financed via PPP
* Looking at PPP for raising bulk of resources
* Need foreign, domestic private investment for rail infra
* Need private FDI investment in railway sector
* Need to explore PSU surplus resources for rail infra projects
* Bulk of future projects to be funded via PPP mode
* Need to leverage Railways’ PSU resources
* Unrealistic to hike fares and burden passengers
* Govt funding insufficient to meet requirements
* Need to explore alternate sources of invest for railways
* Mull private investment in rail infra
* Incomplete projects need 1.82 trln rupee invest
* To seek Cabinet OK for FDI in railways, except operations
* Foot-overs, lifts, escalators at major stations via PPP
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MISCELLANEOUS

* Safety, cleanliness are high priorities
* Tariff policy adopted so far lacked practical approach
* The more projects we add the thinner we spread ourselves
* Freight rates revised periodically to compensate for losses
* Past focus has been on sanctioning projects, not execution
* Decline in freight traffic is revenue forgone
* Sustaining social duty hard without sacrificing efficiency
* Currently railways caries only 31% of total freight in India
* Indian Rail backbone of supply chain of defence establishment
* India Rail carries over 1 bln tn freight per year
* Vast tracts of hinterland still wait for connectivity
* Have 12,500 trains carrying 23 mln passengers/day
* Aim to be largest freight carrier in the world
* Feel there’s solution for challenges faced by railway
* Flooded with requests for new trains

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Business activity in Indian manufacturing sector expanded in June at its quickest pace since February driven by higher domestic and export order flows. The HSBC Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a headline index designed to measure the overall health of the manufacturing sector, rose to 51.5 in the month of June from 51.4 in May. Though the pace of expansion was marginal over previous month, the reading remained above the crucial 50 mark for the eighth consecutive month that separates growth from contraction.

Manufacturers highlighted improved demand conditions in both domestic as well as export markets with all three broad areas of the manufacturing sector registering higher production volumes. Among the three monitored categories, capital goods sector witnessed sharpest rise in new orders. HSBC survey highlighted a marked and accelerated expansion of new export orders, pushing output sub-index to 52.4 from 51.7 in the previous two months.

Encouraged over the growing new work, Indian manufacturers also raised their quantity of purchases in the reported month. Buying activity increased at the fastest pace since March 2013 leading to high pre-production stocks. Although, the rate of stock accumulation was only slight and weaker than the long-run series trend, manufacturing firms also added workforce in June. However, the rate of job creation was marginal and slower than in the previous month.

Further, the survey signaled high inflationary pressure with the rate of cost inflation was solid and sharpest in three months. Manufacturers indicated that higher prices paid for metals, plastics, textiles, food, and energy led to a further increase in average purchase prices. Accordingly, in order to protect margins, firm increased their output prices. The rate of charge inflation was at an eight-month peak, signalling a further rise in inflation.

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Indian equity markets witnessed a smart bounce-back of around a percent and half on Tuesday after four straight sessions of fall, which lifted both Sensex and Nifty above the psychologically crucial 25,350 and 7,550 levels respectively. Bargain-buying activities by market-participants in fundamentally strong blue chip stocks available at attractive valuations after four straight sessions’ of plunge, mainly soothed the sentiment at Dalal Street amidst lower Brent crude prices which whetted the risk appetite of investors for emerging markets assets. In the extremely rock-solid session of trade, wherein benchmarks traded from strength to strength and ended near day’s high point by close of trade, volatility factor, which is peculiar feature in F&O expiry week, remained absent. In the extremely stable session of trade, broader indices too rallied over 1.5%.

Closer home, sentiments also got a lift after shares of ITC made a smart comeback on Tuesday post sharp selloff witnessed in previous session, triggered by media reports suggesting steep increase in tax on cigarettes. Nevertheless, amidst broad-based buying, all the sector indices on BSE ended in positive territory, with only exceptions being stocks from defensive Healthcare counter which were beaten blue in trade. On the flip side, massive buying was witnessed in stocks of Realty counter, followed by Consumer Durables and Oil & Gas counters. Oil marketing companies stocks, vis-à-vis, BPCL, HPCL and IOC, witnessed strong demand after Brent crude fell below $114 a barrel on Tuesday, with data showing near-record high oil exports from Iraq indicated supplies remained unaffected by the escalating violence at OPEC’s No. 2 producer. Additionally, banking stocks too were on buyer’s radar as concerns of fuel price led inflation eased along with decline in crude oil prices.  Besides, sugar stocks too extended gains as sentiment turned positive following the government’s decision to hike import duty on sugar. To tackle the rising crude oil prices, the Food Minister announced that ethanol blending with petrol will be increased to 10% from 5%. Moreover, shares of local tyre companies continued their dream run in trade on Tuesday with CEAT and JK Tyres hitting yet another 52-week high in intra-day trade.  The market breadth on the BSE ended positive; advances and declining stocks were in a ratio of 2038: 993, while 117 scrips remained unchanged. (Provisional)

The BSE Sensex surged 337.58 points or 1.35% to settle at 25368.90. The index touched a high and a low of 25414.69 and 25115.83 respectively. Among the 30-share Sensex, 26 stocks gained, while 4 stocks declined. (Provisional)

The BSE Mid cap and Small cap indices ended higher by 1.59% and 1.64% respectively. (Provisional)

On the BSE sectoral front, Realty up by 1.57%, Consumer Durables up by 2.44%, Oil & Gas up by 2.17%, Infrastructure up by 2.05% and PSU up by 2.04% were the gainers while, Healthcare down by 0.09% was the lone loser in the space. (Provisional)

The top gainers on the Sensex were GAIL up 4.56%, HDFC up by 2.81%, BHEL up by 2.48%, SBI up by 2.24% and Axis Bank up by 2.19%. On the flip side, the key losers were Sun Pharma down by 0.96%, Infosys down by 0.64%, Hindustan Unilever down by 0.02% and Wipro down by 0.01%. (Provisional)

Meanwhile, in order to curb the inflow of cheaper sweetener, the government has decided to hike the import duty on sugar to 40 percent from the current 15 percent. The move is likely to increase the sugar prices up to Rs 60 per quintal in the country. Besides, the government will provide additional interest-free loan of Rs 4,400 crore to cash-starved sugar mills to make payments to cane farmers. The decision was taken after a high-level meeting attended by various ministers including Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and Commerce & Industries Minister Nirmala Sitharaman among others.

Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan also announced that the subsidy on raw sugar exports would be extended till September 2014. Furthermore, mandatory blending of ethanol (a by-product of sugar) with petrol was also enhanced to 10 percent as against 5 percent at present. However, Food Minister cleared that all these decisions were subject to the sugar industry’s guarantee that it would clear all arrears estimated at around Rs11,000 crore. The government’s latest decision is likely to provide impetus to Indian sugar industry through making imports costlier and improving the liquidity of sugar mills.

India, the second largest producer of sugarcane after Brazil, holds about 5 million hectares of land under sugarcane with an average yield of around 70 tonne per hectare. India produced 25.14 million tonnes of sugar in the crop season ended September 30, 2013, almost 4.5% less than the previous year’s because of low rainfall in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in 2012. The Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) has estimated Indian sugar production at 24 million tonnes for 2013-14.

India VIX, a gauge for markets short term expectation rose 1.18% at 19.18 from its previous close of 18.96 on Monday. (Provisional)

The CNX Nifty gained 86.85 points or 1.16% to settle at 7,580.20. The index touched high and low of 7,593.35 and 7,515.20 respectively. Out of 50 stocks in Nifty, 39 stocks ended in the green and 11 in red. (Provisional)

The major gainers of the Nifty were GAIL up 4.75%, BPCL up by 4.70%, DLF up by 4.70%, Bank of Baroda up by 3.22% and NMDC up by 3.20%. On the flip side, the key losers were Kotak Bank down by 1.74%, Sun Pharma down by 1.14%, Infosys down by 0.82%, Ultratech Cement down by 0.67% and Tech Mahindra down by 0.51%. (Provisional)

On the global front, Asian shares ticked higher on Tuesday as improved manufacturing data from China, Japan and the United States augured well for global growth, despite a disappointing result from the euro zone. Additionally, European shares rose on Tuesday, buoyed by new signs of corporate takeover activity, with agrochemicals company, Syngenta surging on a media report that peer Monsanto had considered buying it.

European markets were mostly trading in red; UK’s FTSE 100 down by 0.31%, Germany’s DAX down by 0.07%, while France’s CAC 40 was up by 0.16%.

Asian Indices Last Trade Change in Points Change in %
Shanghai Composite 2033.93 9.57 0.47
Hang Seng 22880.64 75.83 0.33
Jakarta Composite 4862.24 20.11 0.42
KLSE Composite 1892.33 8.37 0.44
Nikkei 225 15376.24 6.96 0.05
Straits Times  3262.03 4.63 0.14
KOSPI Composite 1994.35 19.43 0.98
Taiwan Weighted 9246.20 17.85 0.19
 

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Monday’s session largely turned out to be disappointing for Dalal Street, which for four straight sessions in row registered losses on the back of heavy drubbing in select blue chip stocks, like ITC, HUL and Infosys that arrested any kind of uptrend at the start of F&O expiry week. Among the blue-chip stocks, ITC collapsed close to 6% on worries the government may raise taxes on cigarettes aggressively in the upcoming budget in July, Infosys was beaten down by close to 3%. Nevertheless, buying witnessed in last hour of trade minimized some losses on the bourses. By close of trade, while Sensex managed to shut-shop above the crucial 25,000 mark, with loss of over quarter of a percent, Nifty just ended shy off the psychological 7,500 level. However, broader indices outperformed larger peers with fat margins to end with gains of over 0.50%-0.65%. Nevertheless, prevailing positive sentiment after a steep hike in railway passenger and freight fares, which was seen as possibly the first installment of the “tough measures” Prime Minister Narendra Modi had hinted at as necessary to revive the Indian economy, prevented any sharp slide.

On the global front, erasing early gains, Asia pacific shares ended mostly in green. These shares were up in early deals on upbeat news from China’s factory sector which fuelled appetite for riskier assets mainly arrested. HSBC/Markit’s preliminary Chinese manufacturing survey reached a seven-month high of 50.8 for June, exceeding the 49.7 street and a final reading of 49.4 in May. Additionally, European shares fell early on Monday as downbeat readings of euro zone business activity revived worries over the pace of the economic recovery in the single currency bloc. Dampening expectations for a rebound in the euro zone’s second-biggest economy, data compiler Markit said its composite purchasing managers index (PMI) of activity in France’s manufacturing and services sectors slipped deeper into contraction territory in May.

Closer home, majority of the sectoral indices on BSE settled into positive territory despite sluggish session of performance. However, stocks from Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Information Technology and Consumer Durables counters turned out to be exceptions. On the flip side, stocks from PSU, Oil & Gas and Metal counters were the top gainers of the session. Metal shares gained on hopes of better demand after a preliminary HSBC survey showed activity in China’s factory sector expanded in June for the first time in six months as new orders surged. In non-sectoral guage activity, sugar stocks were flavour of the session, with all stocks from Shree Renuka Sugars, Bajaj Hindustan, Balrampur Chini Mills, Triveni Engineering and Industries, Dhampur Sugar Mills and Oudh Sugar Mills registering gains of over 10% in otherwise subdued market after the government announced various measures to help the sector. In a sweet development for the sector, agriculture Minster Ram Vilas Paswan said the import duty on sugar has been increased to 40 per cent from 15 per cent earlier. He also underscored that the government will increase ethanol blending with petrol to 10 per cent from current 5 per cent.

Meanwhile, In a bitter medicine, which was necessitated to set right the faltering finances of the railways that were aggravated by UPA’s mismanagement of the economy, Modi led government approved a steep hike in the train fares and freight rates. With this, fares of all classes would be hiked by 14.20%, while the freight rates would go up by 6.50%, effective from June 25. Of the total, as much as 4.20% of the fare hike is on account of a variable Fuel Adjustment Component (FAC) approved in last year’s rail budget, remaining 10% is a flat hike across all classes. Similarly, freight rates too have 5% flat hike over and above a 1.4% of the FAC.

Further, this decision would help Indian Railways to mop up an additional Rs 8,000 crore in the financial year. In present scenario, Railways’ subsidy to passenger operations had touched Rs 26,000 crore and its ordinary working expenses have been mounting on account of fuel bill and salary.

However, Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda had sought Modii’s approval to roll out the unpopular move barely a couple of weeks before the government’s first rail budget. Gowda had also made a case for the hike to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley earlier this week.

This move besides being unpopular also was tricky one for Sadananda Gowda as the previous government prevented the proposal of this very hike to be rolled out on May 16, the day of the election results that brought in the regime change. The expected mop-up of around Rs 10,000 crore had already been factored in the interim budget passed in Parliament before elections. This was perhaps the reason behind the automatic hike that was taken by the Railways on May 16, but the same had be quickly withdrawn on account of former Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge’s objection.

European markets were trading in red; UK’s FTSE 100 down by 0.21%, Germany’s DAX down by 0.35% and France’s CAC 40 was down by 0.33%.

The Asian markets concluded Friday’s trade mostly in red, with Nikkei ending slightly lower as investors tended to lock in gains from recent surges, despite optimism over the global economy. Moody’s Investors Service stated that the prolonged effects of China’s property market slowdown could hurt economic growth, but reforms to balance the economy will offset the negative impact. China’s gross domestic product growth may slow to 5-6 percent from 7-7.5 percent this year if property sales and building construction both fall by 10%. Indonesia’s outgoing finance minister stated that the next president will need to discard election rhetoric and focus on raising fuel prices and luring foreign investment to address the budget and current- account deficits. Southeast Asia’s biggest economy is struggling to contain a persistent current-account deficit that helped make the rupiah Asia’s worst performer last year, while ballooning fuel subsidy costs have increased the 2014 budget shortfall and forced a reduction in state spending. Japan’s All Industries Activity Index fell to a seasonally adjusted -4.3%, from 1.5% in the preceding month.

Asian Indices Last Trade Change in Points Change in %
Shanghai Composite 2026.67 2.94 0.15
Hang Seng 23194.06 26.33 0.11
Jakarta Composite 4847.70 -16.57 -0.34
KLSE Composite 1885.72 4.24 0.23
Nikkei 225 15349.42 -11.74 -0.08
Straits Times  3258.80 -10.22 -0.31
KOSPI Composite 1968.07 -23.96 -1.20
Taiwan Weighted 9273.79 -43.02 -0.46

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Wednesday’s trading session turned out to be a daunting one for stock markets in India and benchmarks ended below their crucial 7,600 (Nifty) and 25,300 (Sensex) levels. Sentiments were weighed down as investors remained concerned over Iraqi turmoil. Earlier, markets made a positive start supported by report that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 48.02 crore on June 17, 2014, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges. But, sentiments turned cautious and frontline gauges entered into red terrain after Brent crude surged above $113 per barrel on Wednesday as heavy fighting in Iraq shut the country’s biggest refinery and led to the withdrawal of staff by foreign oil firms, stoking worries about exports from the key oil producer.

Investors were also focused on the Federal Reserve’s two-day monetary policy meeting that ends later in the day, with street expecting another $10 billion cut in the pace of monthly bond purchases to $35 billion. Sentiments also remained dampened amid reports that drought-like conditions have developed in large parts of the country as the monsoon deficit has widened to a worrying 49% since the start of the season on June 1. Though, some recovery witnessed in last leg of trade on the back of bargain hunting but this was not enough to bring markets into green.

On the global front, European markets traded in the green in early deals with investors awaiting a Federal Reserve monetary-policy decision. The Fed is widely expected to cut another $10 billion from its monthly bond purchases. Though, Asian counters ended mixed as investors remained concerned over rising crude oil prices. Sentiments also remained dampened in the region after China’s house prices fell in 35 cities in May.

Back home, depreciation in Indian rupee too dampened the sentiments. Rupee were trading at 60.44 per dollar at the time of equity markets closing compared with its previous close of 60.03/04, while the 10-year benchmark bond yield rose by 6 basis points on the day to 8.66 percent. Meanwhile, public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) viz. BPCL, HPCL and IOC declined after international crude oil prices firmed up on concern over Iraq chaos.

On the other hand, stocks related to telecommunication sector, viz Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communication and Idea Cellular edged higher after Minister of Communications & Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad unveiled that his ministry had given in-principle approval for a nation-wide Mobile Network Portability (MNP) and its implementation would begin after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) submits its recommendations. Additionally, rail stock like Titagarh Wagons, Kalindee Rail Nirman, Kernex Microsystems and Texmaco Rail and Engineering too remained on buyers’ radar on the buzz that railway fare and freight rate gathered steam.

The NSE’s 50-share broadly followed index Nifty declined by over seventy points to end below the psychological 7,600 support level, while Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensitive Index — Sensex declined by over two hundred and seventy points to end below its crucial 25,300 mark. Broader markets too struggled to get any traction during the trade and ended the session with a cut of around half a percent. The market breadth remained in favor of decliners, as there were 1400 shares on the gaining side against 1,631 shares on the losing side while 101 shares remain unchanged.

Finally, the BSE Sensex plunged by 274.94 points or 1.08%, to 25246.25, while the CNX Nifty declined by 73.50 points or 0.96%, to 7,558.20.

The BSE Sensex touched a high and a low of 25609.28 and 25114.30, respectively. The BSE Mid cap index was down by 0.73%, while Small cap index lost 0.28%.

The top gainers on the Sensex were Cipla up by 2.98%, Hindalco Inds up by 2.74%, Gail India up by 1.55%, Maruti Suzuki up by 0.83% and Dr Reddys Lab up by 0.60%. On the flip side, the key losers were BHEL down by 3.21%, TCS down by 2.43%, NTPC down by 2.26%, RIL down by 2.12% and Tata Motors down by 2.08%.

On the BSE Sectoral front, Healthcare up by 0.06% was the only gainer in the space, while Realty down by 2.10%, Consumer Durables down by 1.59%, Power down by 1.51%, Oil & Gas down by 1.43% and PSU down by 1.13% were the top losers in the space.

Meanwhile, with an aim to enhance the infrastructure development in the country, the government is considering a special public-private partnership (PPP) platform to renegotiate already bid projects under PPP mode.

Allowing renegotiation after a project is bid out has emerged as a key challenge in most infrastructure sectors and the government is likely to set a resolution panel soon in line with global practices. Most countries have a provision for renegotiation of contracts under the PPP mode. On the other hand, the renegotiation of contracts under the PPP mode has been done very selectively in India. The move is likely to provide impetus to the big infrastructure products which are implemented under the PPP mode.

The development of the infrastructure sector is most critical prerequisite to boost the economic growth of any country. Infrastructure sector primarily comprises of power, ports, railways, roads, irrigation, water supply and airports. At present, Indian economy is struggling with slowdown and growth and prevailing economic downturn can be attributed partly to global factors and mainly to slow reforms and delays in implementation of projects in the country. Meanwhile, to boost the infrastructure sector, India’s government has proposed an investment of $1 trillion for the infrastructure sector during the 12th Five Year Plan, with 50 percent of the funds coming from the private sector.

The CNX Nifty touched a high and low of 7,663.00 and 7,515.50 respectively.

The major gainers of the Nifty were Cipla up by 2.69%, Lupin up by 2.68%, Kotak Mahindra Bank up by 2.37%, Hindalco Industries up by 2.37% and GAIL (India) up by 1.81%. On the flip side, the key losers were Jindal Steel & Power down by 3.43%, BPCL down by 3.30%, IDFC down by 3.08%, BHEL down by 3.05% and NMDC down by 2.96%.

The European markets were trading in green, France’s CAC 40 was up by 0.12%, Germany’s DAX was up by 0.27% and United Kingdom’s FTSE 100 was up by 0.43%.

Asian markets ended the Wednesday’s trade mixed as investors remained concerned over Iraq turmoil. Sentiments remained dampened after Brent crude surged above $113 per barrel on Wednesday as heavy fighting in Iraq shut the country’s biggest refinery and led to the withdrawal of staff by foreign oil firms, stoking worries about exports from the key oil producer. Investors were also focused on the Federal Reserve’s two-day monetary policy meeting that ends tonight, with economists expecting another $10 billion cut in the pace of monthly bond purchases to $35 billion.

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Depicting strength, Indian equity markets shaved all its early losses and ended flat with positive bias on Tuesday thanks to defensive buying strategy by market-participants, which lifted the benchmarks from doldrums, thereby proving that market’s new found strength was not temporary. In the first half of the session, profit-booking by market-participants after three consecutive sessions’ record rally on concerns of possible monsoon deficit combined with caution ahead of release of the consumer price index (CPI) inflation data for May and the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) data for April due on Thursday, weighed on the sentiment. However, late hour buying by traders led markets log yet other record high closing levels, with both Sensex and Nifty settling above the crucial 25,550 and 7,650 psychological mark respectively.

Sentiments took a hit in early deals after Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasted rainfall in June-September to be below normal at 93% of the long period average, which in terms of quantity, could be the lowest in four years. While, benchmarks also fell off lifetime high levels in early deals amid concerns the rally that made it the best performer among emerging markets this year has exceeded the outlook for earnings. Nevertheless, besides bargain buying activities, positive regional counterparts also aided the recovery.

On the global front, Asian pacific shares settled higher on Tuesday on account of in-line with expectation China inflation data, which though was higher than the previous month’s figure. China CPI in May rose 2.5% year-on-year, while PPI fell 1.4%.for May. The previous month saw CPI rise at 1.8%, and a 2.0% fall for PPI. Meanwhile, European shares were trading mostly positive as reports showed that industrial production in the U.K and France matched street estimates. In the U.K., a report from the Office for National Statistics showed that industrial output in Europe’s third-largest economy climbed 0.4% in April, while in France, a release showed that industrial output rose 0.3 percent in April.

Closer home, while majority of the sectorial indices on BSE settled into negative territory, stocks from Realty, Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) and Oil & Gas counters were the prominent losers. On the flip side, stocks from Consumer Durables, Information Technology and Healthcare counters were the pillars of market’s strength. Losses of cyclical stocks turned out to be the gains for defensive stocks, like software and pharma, as investors looked to reduce volatility in their portfolios. While rupee’s depreciation aided the IT counter, FMCG stocks, which lost steam after India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasted rains to be below normal this year as the chances of El Nino occurring during monsoon being very high, too recovered by the end of trade. The stocks tanked in intra-day trade given that most of FMCG firms derive substantial revenue from rural India. The overall market breadth on BSE settled in the favour of declines which outperformed advances in the ratio of 1108:797; while 14 shares remained unchanged.

The BSE Sensex settled at 25583.69, up by 3.48 points or 0.01% after trading in a range of 25347.3 and 25711.1. 14 stocks advanced against 16 stocks declining one’s on the index.   (Provisional)

The broader indices were trading mixed; while BSE Mid cap index was down by 0.27%, Small cap index ended up by 0.26%.   (Provisional)

The top gainers on BSE sectoral front, were Consumer Durables up by 3.55%, IT up by 2.32%, TECK up by 1.98%, Healthcare up by 1.97% and FMCG up by 0.12%. On the flip side, Realty down by 2.96%, PSU down by 1.28%, Oil & Gas down by 0.96%, Capital Goods and India Infrastructure Index were down by 0.90% each were top losers on BSE.   (Provisional)

The top gainers on the Sensex were Cipla up by 2.76%, Infosys up by 2.73%, Wipro up by 2.73%, TCS up by 1.98% and Coal India up by 1.78%. On the flip side, BHEL down by 2.87%, ONGC down by 2.74%, Tata Steel down by 2.60%, Hero MotoCorp down by 2.32% and SSLT down by 2.29% were the top losers.  (Provisional)

Meanwhile, finance Minister Arun Jailtley has stated that the government will soon take measures to break the vicious cycle of high inflation and high interest rates impacting Indian economic growth, which stayed below 5 percent for the second year in a row at 4.7 percent during FY14.

Jailtey further said that long inflationary trends have adversely impacted the food and nutritional security of the common man and also sought states’ support in tackling temporary fluctuation in prices. Further, Finance Minister added that prevailing high interest rates to check rising inflation has been impacting the domestic demand. Therefore, the government would like to evolve a mechanism which will address the structural issues and enhance supply. The RBI has raised lending rate three times since September’13 to tame price rise through cooling demand.

Finance Minister further stated that the government aims to create positive action through economic reforms in the forthcoming budget to revive investor sentiment and promote growth. Regarding the GST issue, Finance Minister said that implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) has the potential to significantly improve the country’s growth story and the government will soon take measures for early rollout of GST.

India VIX, a gauge for markets short term expectation lost 2.52% at from its previous close of 16.66 on Monday. (Provisional)

The CNX Nifty settled at 7656.4, up by 1.80 points or 0.02% after trading in a range of 7579.3 and 7683.2. 20 stocks advanced against 30 declining one’s on the index.    (Provisional)

The top gainers on Nifty were Infosys up by 3.17%, Tech Mahindra up by 2.72%, Wipro up by 2.69%, CIPLA up by 2.64% and Cairn India up by 2.28%. On the flip side, DLF down by 3.63%, Grasim Industries down by 3.37%, Ambuja Cements down by 3.14%, BHEL down by 3.08% and Tata Steel down by 2.91% were the top losers.

European shares were trading mixed; with Germany’s DAX rising by 0.14%, France’s CAC 40 gaining by 0.12% and United Kingdom’s FTSE 100 declining by 0.46%.

The Asian markets concluded Tuesday’s trade mostly in green,

Asian Indices Last Trade Change in Points Change in %
Shanghai Composite 2052.53 22.03 1.08
Hang Seng 23315.74 198.27 0.86
Jakarta Composite 4946.09 61.01 1.25
KLSE Composite 1876.61 12.92 0.69
Nikkei 225 14994.80 -129.20 -0.85
Straits Times  3293.82 -11.38 -0.34
KOSPI Composite 2011.80 21.76 1.09
Taiwan Weighted 9222.37 59.63 0.65

 

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Resuming their northward journey, boisterous benchmarks showcased an enthusiastic performance on Thursday, by rallying a percentage point. Though, domestic bourses made a choppy start and the indices even went on to test psychologically important  24,700 (Sensex) and 7,350 (Nifty) levels, but the key gauges got solid support around those intraday low levels as they convalesced from thereon as investors continued hunt for fundamentally strong stocks. Frontline indices not only ended near their intraday high levels but also recorded their all time closing high, settling comfortably above their crucial 7,450(Nifty) and 25,000 (Sensex) bastions as investors took to hefty across the board buying.

Sentiments got bolstered after the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecasted that conditions are favourable for the onset of the southwest monsoon over Kerala and its further advance into some more parts of south Arabian Sea, remaining parts of Maldives-Comorin area, some parts of Tamil Nadu and the Bay of Bengal during the next 48 hours. Meanwhile, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi met the Secretaries of all government departments to outline his agenda of governance and in a positive step he said that the Government’s priority is to revamp the economy and asked the officials to prepare presentations on the contributions their Ministries can make to the revival. In a separate development, industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has called for a comprehensive review of the new Companies Act 2013 and the rules issued there under.

On the global front, European markets were trading slightly in the red in early deals with investors awaiting the European Central Bank’s policy announcement. The central bank is widely expected to cut all its main interest rates at Thursday’s meeting, including pushing its deposit rate into negative territory for the first time. However, most of the Asian counters ended in the green terrain with Shanghai Composite gaining the most. Moreover, Japanese stocks ended at near three-month highs on Thursday because of a weaker yen,

Back home, there was broad based buying witnessed in the markets and apart from the blue chips, the broader markets too participated strongly in the rally. The markets sentiment was also boosted by data showing that foreign funds remained net buyers of Indian stocks on June 4, 2014. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 192.56 crore on Wednesday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.

Meanwhile, cement stocks viz, Andhra Cement, India Cements, Heidelberg Cements and Dalmia Bharat remained on buyers’ radar on price hikes ranging from 3-30 percent across most regions. Additionally, shares in fertilizer companies, Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals and National Fertilizers were surging on hopes that new government will soon clear its 2013/14 outstanding subsidy payments for the sector. On the flip side, Sugar stocks, which were up on hopes that the Modi-led government would help revive the industry by encouraging ethanol blending in petrol and also hike import duty on the commodity to support local prices, were down on profit-booking.

The NSE’s 50-share broadly followed index Nifty rose by over seventy points and ended comfortably above the psychological 7,450 support level, while Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensitive Index — Sensex surged by over two hundred and ten points to finish above the psychological 25,000 mark. Broader markets too were trading with traction throughout the trade and ended the session with a gain of over a percentage point. The market breadth remained in favor of advances, as there were 2,153 shares on the gaining side against 869 shares on the losing side while 105 shares remain unchanged.

Finally, the BSE Sensex soared by 213.68 points or 0.86%, to 25019.51, while the CNX Nifty surged by 71.85 points or 0.97%, to 7,474.10.

The BSE Sensex touched a high and a low of 25044.06 and 24644.88, respectively. The BSE Mid cap index was up by 1.01%, while the Small cap index rose by 1.42%.

The top gainers on the Sensex were SSLT up by 6.50%, Hindalco Inds up by 5.54%, Hindustan Unilever up by 4.27%, Tata Power up by 3.64% and Tata Steel up by 3.45%. While Mahindra & Mahindra down by 1.46%, HDFC Bank down by 1.43%, Cipla down by 0.87%, Dr Reddys Lab down by 0.74% and ICICI Bank down by 0.56% were the top losers in the index.

On the BSE Sectoral front, Metal up by 3.33%, Power up by 1.96%, Oil & Gas up by 1.96%, PSU up by 1.55% and FMCG up by 1.49% were the top gainers, while Bankex down by 0.39% was the only loser in the space.

Meanwhile, with an intent of giving bureaucracy a greater role in decision-making, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in three hour long meeting with secretaries of all the government departments collectively, asked them to directly get in touch with him to resolve policy issues and expedite decision-making.

Just to ensure that implementation of decisions and programmes were not stuck in red-tape, PM asked secretaries to call him or e-mail him directly for suggestions or intervention required in resolving issues or expediting decisions making process.

In all, 77 top bureaucrats, including finance secretary Arvind Mayaram, home secretary Anil Goswami, defence secretary Radha Krishna Mathur and foreign secretary Sujatha Singh, were called for the meeting and for the meeting sixteen groups were formed by clubbing related ministries.

While, all finance ministry departments were grouped together, secretaries of energy-related departments, power, coal, oil, mines and atomic energy, were clubbed. Additionally, Agriculture and related departments were put together, with the infrastructure group comprising of railways, telecom, roads, civil aviation, shipping and posts.

Further, notes of finance ministry officials for the meeting with the prime minister included inflation, fiscal consolidation, controlling the current account deficit, clarity on tax administration and disinvestments in non-core sectors like steel and cement.

The CNX Nifty touched a high and low of 7,484.70 and 7,360.50 respectively.

The top gainers of the Nifty were BPCL up by 7.17%, SSLT up by 6.65%, Hindalco Industries up by 6.10%, Hindustan Unilever up by 5.21% and Cairn India up by 4.74%. On the other hand, Mahindra & Mahindra down by 1.42%, HDFC Bank down by 1.22%, IndusInd Bank down by 1.05%, Cipla down by 0.92% and Bank of Baroda down by 0.86% were the top losers.

Most of the European markets were trading in red, Germany’s DAX was down by 0.07% and United Kingdom’s FTSE 100 was down by 0.25%, while France’s CAC 40 was up by 0.08%.

The Asian markets concluded Thursday’s trade mostly in green, with investors keeping an eye on European Central Bank policy decision.

Asian Indices Last Trade Change in Points Change in %
Shanghai Composite 2040.88 16.04 0.79
Hang Seng 23109.66 -42.05 -0.18
Jakarta Composite 4935.56 3.00 0.06
KLSE Composite 1869.00 3.80 0.20
Nikkei 225 15079.37 11.41 0.08
Straits Times  3279.64 -0.53 -0.02
KOSPI Composite 1995.48 -13.08 -0.65
Taiwan Weighted 9140.72 20.76 0.23

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The Indian markets consolidated in last session, though some late hour selling dragged the markets into red but the trade throughout the day remained mostly range bound. Today, the start is likely to be cautious and traders will be eyeing global developments for any cue. Meanwhile, on domestic front Prime Minister, Narendra Modi met the Secretaries of all government departments to outline his agenda of governance and in a positive step he said that the Government’s priority is to revamp the economy and asked the officials to prepare presentations on the contributions their Ministries can make to the revival. In a separate development, industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has called for a comprehensive review of the new Companies Act 2013 and the rules issued there under. There will be some buzz in the retail space on reports that India could allow global online retailers to sell their own products as early as next month. The move could allow the government to circumvent political opposition to opening up retail sector for the global players.

The US markets made a modest recovery and S&P 500 managed to reach a new record closing high. Though, the buying interest was somewhat subdued after ADP report showed that the pace of private sector job growth slowed more than expected, but traders got some support with Institute for Supply Management report showing rise in index of activity in the service sector in the month of May. The Asian markets have made a mixed start, though some of the indices are still trading near a seven-month high awaiting a European Central Bank policy decision.

Back home, after scaling fresh closing high levels in the previous session, Indian equity markets re-entered the consolidation mode as benchmarks gyrating in a thin band for the entire trading session, settled flat, albeit with a minor losses amid weak global cues. The key gauges displayed listless performance through the day as the aimless benchmarks appeared exhausted, lacking any significant upside triggers. Though, the psychological 7,400 (Nifty) and 24,800 (Sensex) levels proved as strong supports as the key gauges managed to settle above those levels by the end. Sentiments remained down-beat on report which showed that India has slipped to its lowest position in over a decade in the foreign direct investment confidence index. Traders also remained on sidelines ahead of Finance Minister’s pre-Budget talks with apex industry chambers and trade sector representatives on Friday. However, losses remained capped on report that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 575.09 crore on June 3, 2014, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges. On macro-economic front, showing some signs of recovery and stabilization, the activity in Indian services sector, which represent around 60% of Indian GDP, increased in the month of May on the back of rise in new orders. The HSBC services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), based on the survey of around 350 private service sector companies rose to 50.2 in May from 48.5 in the previous month, above 50 mark that separates growth from contraction. Global cues remained somber with Asian markets ending mostly in the red after two days of healthy gains, while European counterparts made sluggish start. Back home, selling in software and technology counters too dampened the sentiments. Stocks like TCS, Wipro, Infosys, HCL Technologies, Tech Mahindra etc. edged lower after rupee rebounded from its early lows. Additionally, stocks related to tyre industry viz. Ceat India, Dunlop India, JK Tyre and Industries edged higher after the key Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract touched a five-week low, weighed down partly by weak Chinese service sector data. The rubber prices fell approximately 30% in 2014 and hit five-year lows. Finally, the BSE Sensex declined by 52.76 points or 0.21%, to 24805.83, while the CNX Nifty was down by 13.60 points or 0.18%, to 7,402.25.

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After scaling a fresh closing high levels in the previous session, Indian equity markets re-entered the consolidation mode as benchmarks gyrating in a thin band for the entire trading session, settled flat, albeit with a minor losses amid weak global cues. The key gauges displayed listless performance through the day as the aimless benchmarks appeared exhausted, lacking any significant upside triggers. Though, the psychological 7,400 (Nifty) and 24,800 (Sensex) levels proved as strong supports as the key gauges managed to settle above those levels by the end. Sentiments remained down-beat on report which showed that India has slipped to its lowest position in over a decade in the foreign direct investment confidence index. Traders also remained on sidelines ahead of Finance Minister’s pre-Budget talks with apex industry chambers and trade sector representatives on Friday.

However, losses remained capped on report that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 575.09 crore on June 3, 2014, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges. On macro-economic front, showing some signs of recovery and stabilization, the activity in Indian services sector, which represent around 60% of Indian GDP, increased in the month of May on the back of rise in new orders. The HSBC services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), based on the survey of around 350 private service sector companies rose to 50.2 in May from 48.5 in the previous month, above 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.

Global cues remained somber with Asian markets ending mostly in the red after two days of healthy gains, while investors also took their lead from Wall Street’s retreat from record highs. Meanwhile, European counterparts made sluggish start on Wednesday with investors awaiting confirmation of new stimulus from the European Central Bank and a crucial U.S. jobs report.

Back home, selling in software and technology counters too dampened the sentiments. Stocks like TCS, Wipro, Infosys, HCL Technologies, Tech Mahindra etc. edged lower after rupee rebounded from its early lows and was trading higher at 59.33 at the time of equity markets closing versus its previous close of 59.38 on Tuesday. On the flip side, shares in insurance companies surged on hopes that the new government may raise foreign direct investment limit in the sector to 49 percent from 26 percent. Additionally, stocks related to tyre industry viz. Ceat India, Dunlop India, JK Tyre and Industries edged higher after the key Tokyo Commodity Exchange rubber contract touched a five-week low, weighed down partly by weak Chinese service sector data. The rubber prices fell approximately 30% in 2014 and hit five-year lows.

The NSE’s 50-share broadly followed index Nifty dropped by just over ten points but managed to hold its psychological 7,400 support level, while Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensitive Index — Sensex declined by over fifty points to end below its crucial 24,850 mark. The broader markets, however, outperformed benchmarks and ended the session with a gain of around two percentage points. The market breadth remained in favour of advances, as there were 2,127 shares on the gaining side against 921 shares on the losing side while 97 shares remain unchanged.

Finally, the BSE Sensex declined by 52.76 points or 0.21%, to 24805.83, while the CNX Nifty was down by 13.60 points or 0.18%, to 7,402.25.

The BSE Sensex touched a high and a low of 24925.90 and 24773.93, respectively. The BSE Mid cap index was up by 1.85%, while the Small cap index rose by 1.96%.

The top gainers on the Sensex were Hero MotoCorp up by 3.57%, Hindalco Inds up by 3.48%, Hindustan Unilever up by 2.26%, Tata Steel up by 2.06% and Bajaj Auto up by 1.56%. While TCS down by 1.92%, ONGC down by 1.87%, Bharti Airtel down by 1.59%, RIL down by 1.54% and HDFC down by 1.14% were the top losers in the index.

On the BSE Sectoral front, Realty up by 1.55%, Capital Goods up by 1.25%, Metal up by 1.17%, Consumer Durables up by 0.81% and PSU up by 0.72% were the top gainers, while IT down by 1.27%, Oil & Gas down by 1.26%, Teck down by 1.01% and FMCG down by 0.23% were the only losers in the space.

Meanwhile, in order to meet the rising domestic coal requirements, Coal India has planned to form a panel of consultants which would help it in acquiring, developing and operating coal mines overseas.

Coal India is eyeing coal assets abroad to meet the domestic demand. Earlier, Coal Ministry had stated that acquisition of coal mines overseas should be done in an aggressive manner to meet India’s rising energy requirements. Taking forward its plans to acquire overseas mines, CIL had recently invited bids for the third phase of drilling in the African nation. It had earlier invited bids from bankers and interested parties for acquiring assets abroad.

India, despite being world’s third-largest producer of coal and fifth largest in terms of reserves, has failed to keep pace with increasing domestic demand. Indian domestic coal demand is around 35 percent higher than domestic supply, resulting into a high deficit of which a huge part is being met by costly imports from Indonesia, South Africa and Australia. The country had imported a record 171 MT coal last financial year to meet domestic requirements. Meanwhile, to boost the domestic coal production, the government has planned to invite bids from private players to start coal mining in a public-private partnership (PPP) mode in the country, which would also end the monopoly of public sector unit Coal India.

The CNX Nifty touched a high and low of 7,433.30 and 7,391.35 respectively.

The top gainers of the Nifty were NMDC up by 5.03%, IDFC up by 3.97%, Hindalco Industries up by 2.74%, PNB up by 2.68% and Hero MotoCorp up by 2.65%. On the other hand, HCL Technologies down by 2.56%, TCS down by 1.91%, ONGC down by 1.86%, Bharti Airtel down by 1.80% and Kotak Mahindra Bank down by 1.67% were the top losers.

The European markets were trading in red, France’s CAC 40 was down by 0.27%, Germany’s DAX was down by 0.19% and United Kingdom’s FTSE 100 was down by 0.23%.

The Asian markets concluded Wednesday’s trade mostly in red, retreating from a seven-month high.

Asian Indices

Last Trade

Change in Points

Change in %

Shanghai Composite

2024.83

-13.47

-0.66

Hang Seng

23151.71

-139.33

-0.60

Jakarta Composite

4932.56

-9.59

-0.19

KLSE Composite

1865.20

-7.35

-0.39

Nikkei 225

15067.96

33.71

0.22

Straits Times

 3280.17

-16.50

-0.50

KOSPI Composite

Taiwan Weighted

9119.96

-3.50

-0.04

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Indian bourses continued to trade in red in late morning session as funds and retail investors engaged in reducing positions amid a weak trend in global markets. Profit booking in frontline blue chip stocks after a recent rally dragged the markets lower. However, some support came in from reports that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 575.09 crore on June 3, 2014. FMCG stocks extended their profit taking for the second day in a row on concerns that rising inflation levels would hurt volume growth, while Metal stocks extended their gains for a second straight day as China’s factory sector turned in its best performance in four months in May as export orders improved. In scrip specific development, shares of Wockhardt tumbled after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found deficiencies in quality, hygiene and personnel training standards at the company’s plant in Chicago. On the other hand, shares of Biocon rallied after it announced a five-year extension of its drug discovery and development collaboration in India between its contract research subsidiary Syngene International and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

The market is likely to remain range bound in the near term as there is not much trigger on the domestic front and traders will keep an eye on Finance Minister’s pre-Budget talks with apex industry chambers and trade sector representatives on Friday. On the global front, most of Asian markets were trading in red as investors await a report on US jobs and a decision from the European Central Bank on monetary policy. Further, the US markets closed slightly lower on Tuesday, pausing after three straight days of gains that sent the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average to record levels on Monday. Back home, traders were seen piling up positions in Consumer Durables, Realty and Metal stocks, while selling was witnessed in IT, Teck and FMCG sector stocks. The market breadth on BSE was positive, out of 2295 stocks traded, 1591 stocks advanced, while 610 stocks declined on the BSE.

The BSE Sensex is currently trading at 24836.63 down by 21.96 points or 0.09% after trading in a range of 24925.90 and 24805.17. There were 18 stocks advancing against 12 stocks declining on the index.

The broader indices were trading in green; the BSE Mid cap index was up by 1.24%, while Small cap index up by 1.20%.

The gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Consumer Durables up by 1.68%, Realty up by 1.06%, Metal up by 1.04%, Capital Goods up by 0.79% and India Infrastructure Index up by 0.79%. While, IT down by 1.44%, Teck down by 1.02%, FMCG down by 0.44% and Oil & Gas down by 0.14% were the losing indices on BSE.

The top gainers on the Sensex were Hindalco up by 2.80%, Tata Steel up by 2.61%, Bajaj Auto up by 2.08%, BHEL up by 1.94% and Tata Motors up by 1.44%. On the flip side, TCS down by 1.90%, Mahindra & Mahindra down by 1.82%, Wipro down by 1.31%, Infosys down by 1.21% and ONGC down by 1.10%.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has described the RBI’s status quo policy as a calibrated approach to maintain a balance between growth and inflation and asserted that the government on its part will address the problem of price rise through improving supplies. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in its Second Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Statement for this financial year, kept the key policy rates unchanged at 8 percent. However, to improve availability of funds, central bank cut the statutory liquidity (SLR) ratio, the amount of deposits that banks need to park in government securities, by 0.5 percent to 22.5 percent.

Finance Minister further added that there should be a balancing act between inflation and growth and the government will soon take measures to contain the rising inflation through improving supplies, particularly in relation to food inflation. Retail inflation inched up to 8.59% in April on y-o-y basis as against 8.31% in March led by a sharp rise in the prices of food articles. Inflation in the food category stood at 9.66 percent in April. The RBI has raised lending rate three times since September’13 in order to tame price rise through cooling demand. Though tight monetary stance helps to crush marginal prices pressure, the apex bank’s move is adversely impacting the country’s economic growth.

Regarding the economic growth, Further Minister stated that fiscal consolidation, restarting the investment cycle and employment generations are the top priority for the government.  India’s economic growth stayed below 5 percent for the second year in a row at 4.7 percent during FY14.

The CNX Nifty is currently trading at 7,413.10 down by 2.75 points or 0.04% after trading in a range of 7,433.30 and 7,399.10. There were 32 stocks advancing against 18 declining on the index.

The top gainers of the Nifty were Hindalco up by 2.84%, NMDC up by 2.71%, PNB up by 2.65%, Tata Steel up by 2.42% and Bank of Baroda up by 2.31%. On the flip side, HCL Tech down by 2.18%, TCS down by 1.95%, M&M down by 1.54%, Infosys down by 1.33% and Wipro down by 1.18% were the major losers on the index.

Most of the Asian equity indices were trading in red; Shanghai Composite dropped by 1.03%, Hang Seng declined 0.61%, Jakarta Composite slipped by 0.33%, KLSE Composite tumbled 0.41%, Straits Times was down by 0.54%. On the flip side, Nikkei 225 soared 0.09% and Taiwan Weighted was up by 0.01%.

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